PICTURE ROW 2
Awareness / Team Defense: Needs work all around, but there are some weak-side rotation flashes, interior helps on drives, and some perimeter rotations. Would like to see him talk a bit more on defense paying attention to everything happening on the court, so he be an effective back-bone to the defense…which, being the big who has everything happening in front of him, is an important skill to have because (in theory) he can see most of what is happening on the court – he doesn’t do a bad job talking, but it’s usually only when he’s involved in the play (cross-screens, wanting a switch, etc). Not very active with hands, stunting / tagging, helping, etc – not really someone who makes plays out of his area. Can see an area / opportunity to help, and sit back and do nothing instead – energy / effort level here is not high. Prone to turning away from the ball and not seeing the action and his man, in addition to helping when unneeded leaving his man open. He’s not someone who will make a multiple effort play on defense or readjust his positioning to help if he’s out of position after an initial stop, or just away from the play with time to adjust. Just from watching on flip, it looks like he complains about his teammates’ poor defensive positioning (blaming them for giving up points) from the amount of times he throws his hands up, looks around at his teammates, etc – does not take responsibility for his own misgivings on defense. It looks like he could also be complaining to the refs on some occasions instead of staying involved in the play.
Net Rating: +19
Post Up: Shows flashes of good post up defense, but needs to learn proper leg positioning – needs to keep his leg underneath the posting up player’s hamstrings / glutes. When he lowers his center of gravity and uses his legs more as leverage (and his arms), he does a better job not getting dislodged and keeping the offensive player away from the spot he wants to get to…but when he relies too much on his hands and stays too upright, he’s easy to move. He has to get stronger in upper and lower body – looks like he has pretty thin legs, and his arms aren’t very big either. Gambles too much with his positioning / going for steals. Prone to giving up baseline, which is something bigger NBA players expose him on with the combination of size / strength and quickness. Does not do a great job cutting off the baseline move. Can contest shots after the shot goes up, which helps a bit, but it’s not a safe / good way to defend the post.
Offensive Role: Scoring 4. If the shot progresses as many think it will, he could be a very nice dual PnR threat providing elite vertical gravity and nice horizontal spacing (potentially some PnP if he makes some adjustments, more below).
PnR (General): High level PnR player who is a bigtime vertical gravity threat due to his major vertical pop in the paint with large catching radius. Has nice hands with the ability to catch lead passes, lobs, and bounce passes – soft hands. However, there are inconsistencies with his footwork on the release. There are times where his footwork into pivot is near perfect, but then other times it’s not – see photos row 1 (the good) and photo row 2 (the bad) below. To be fair, he does a nice job getting into the paint anyways off the release so it’s not a killer in terms of his PnR ability, but I think this is a detail that can improve his ability to get into the paint off the roll. Toppin delays his release almost every PnR he runs, so this has to be fixed – quicker release will likely be necessary, as he will be going against better athletes who can recover to the paint quicker from help. (Note – I do think there is a chance the delay is somewhat intentional to hold up the POA defender in the screen for half a second longer, freeing up the ballhandler.) As mentioned above, if he cleans up his footwork (and improves his balance), there is potential as a PnP player – would also like to clean up his form a bit, but there is potential here.
Photo row 2, opened against the roll
Shooting: Good C&S player, but volume is not there yet. 67th percentile on catch and shoot (22/60, 65 points, 54.2 aFG%), but 98th percentile on no dribble jumpers, (16-32, 48 points, 75 aFG%) – “pure C&S” (no dribble jumper spotups). He has a natural dip to get into rhythm going up. His form isn’t bad, but it is a bit unorthodox. Guide hand is used a bit more than it should be (and he “thumbs” the ball on the release), it looks like his left hand is a bit too high on the ball (which leads to the “thumbing”) and he uses his left hand position to help bring the ball up, tends to shoot the ball out, and I think he might be blocking his line of sight as he gets into his motion. In addition, his load into the shot itself is not particularly quick – the release is, but going from catch into shooting motion needs some work…which actually explains why his form looks much better (and percentages are better) when he’s not under duress / being closed out on and is forced to speed up the release. Right elbow is angled down and out a little bit and almost forming a triangle with his left hand / left elbow (see below). Has some weird misses, probably a result of the unorthodox form, but his soft touch, FT%, and where he is now as a shooter leads to a solid shooting projection going forward. *NOTE, it is pretty difficult to tell on a screen, but it looks like the ball might be resting on his palm.
PnR Defense: Needs work in the PnR. Whether it’s inconsistent hand positioning (not keeping hands out), angling his body improperly, etc, or giving up driving lanes on switches (or even drop coverage), Toppin needs work here. He gets exposed in drop coverage against PnP bigs because he is very slow back to the ball – does not plant and get out well, so the shot contests are very weak here. He is prone to standing without hands out, instead of staying in his stance, which makes it easy for the ballhandler to exploit poor positioning either on drives to the basket or passing it to the roll. Toppin has tried defending the POA a few times, but this will likely not be an area where he can work in in the NBA. Can be caught out of position in drop coverage, giving up an angle to attack with open hips and too much space or playing on the wrong side of the screen.
Halfcourt Defensive Shot Chart (A lot of noise, but interesting. Paint = as primary and secondary defender. Missing two games.)
Handle: Comfortable handling the ball, but I do not think he is a particularly good ballhandler. He flashes a spin moves, crossovers, and the occasional Euro-step from time to time, but his handle is loose…especially his left hand, where you can see the ball rising and getting away from him on drives (it is apparent when he’s pressured or is driving into a congested area). More of a straight line driver dribbler and not someone who really adjusts to a shifting defense / a defense that gets in front of him.
投篮类型：我对此，再获能够他能好好学习打磨投射组合动作，觉得他再获能够成这是名投篮手段多样的射手。就要样本不小，但Toppin已实际证明他再获能够命中不运球跳投。再加其柔和手感和罚球命中率，我想理由肯定让他投篮会再获改善。挡拆投篮上再获能够进步。让他脚步再获能够加强，会对此不一致会就要力的传递不顺畅，绳肌或臀大肌的负荷/用来中过少，使其就要平衡不佳，就要（有时候看到）投丢球。他有时候会发生有会很好的脚步整体调整（对此有时候会带来觉得余的脚步），但让他平衡能力强还需整体综合水平。他就要会带来从接球衔接到出手，这有助于其彻底整体调整接球组合动作，再获能够够能够够很有会很好地身体机能机能（一般说来说来是右脚）与篮筐对齐。对此，平衡能力强/不良的脚步限制了让他投篮，再获能够他想加强挡拆投射，他就还需改进这个所以。第1图实际证明不平衡的投篮/步法，第2行实际证明较平衡的投篮/步法，让他重心毗邻脚的前2 / 3-3 / 4。这两张两两张照片都实际证明让他右脚与篮筐对齐时表现自然有会很好。就运球来说，就要又很对此我想能力强运球破坏击败，但根本就要对此他仍有操作空间整体综合水平遭遇closeout的击败者的跳投能力强（就要是三分线外） 。他已然表现自然出去有会很好的近框投篮能力强（不让他会尽量closeout击败者），让他他所有技术实现所有定型了–更好地专业则是整体调整脚步和组合动作，这不不让他整体综合水平接球投篮的重点。
Off Ball Defense: Not someone you want chasing around screens. Too upright in his movements, can lose his man off ball, and is not quick to the shot contest on the perimeter. In addition, he’s not disciplined. Movement bigs will be able to take advantage of Toppin’s poor defense.
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Potential Switchability: Would not recommend switching. His foot speed and hip turns are pretty poor, allowing the defense to exploit his (lack) of mobility in space if stuck against a wing. If he is switched onto a 5 (up from his natural position of a 4, though frankly his mobility for 4s isn’t good either), his lack of physicality, high center of gravity, and poor technical post defense (and rim protection consistency) might be an issue. If he improves his footwork and uses his lower body (keep leg underneath the postup player’s hamstrings / glutes) in addition to his hands, he doesn’t get dislodged as easily…but, as of right now, he’s far too reliant on just his arms, which in conjunction with his high stance in post up defense, makes it easy for the post up player to get to his spot.
Written by Spencer Pearlman, https://twitter.com/SKPearlman, link to other pieces and in-depth reports: https://www.thestepien.com/author/spencerpearlman/
Post Up: Not very advanced in terms of moves, but his very soft touch and quick leaping ability lends well to efficiency. He likes drop steps going back to his right, but he has to work on his footwork – his lower leg does not do a good job sealing the defender on his back / hip, creating an easy shot…it often does nothing to help his angle / clear a path and, which is compounded by the fact he also often doesn’t set himself / square up before releasing (shot gets off quickly, but looks a bit wild). Can back down smaller players, but Toppin appears to have a higher center of gravity / more weight on his top half and skinny legs, so he’s less effective against bigs – bigger defenders can actually dislodge him and push him further from the rim (or, at the very least, not give up any ground). Nice job sealing his man behind either on his back for the easy entry or in front for a lob over the top. Shows flashes of baseline spin moves, but can get out of control at times and end up with a poor angle to shoot. Would like to see him make quicker moves with the ball because it appears as if he’s most effective here – tends to settle for poor shots the longer he has the ball / longer he’s trying to get better position in the post. Would like to see him pass out of the post better and try to get better position instead of forcing a look. Although he did not show this often, I think with his quick first step and handle, he should be faceup threat against bigs in the NBA.
PICTURE ROW 1
Photo 1 row, nice open on the screen
挡拆：高综合水平挡拆球队，得益于出色的外切能力强和油漆区的终结能力强，文化吸引击败能力强出色。并具很有会很好的手感，再获能够接到直塞，高吊球和击地球–手感柔和。对此，他出手时的脚步不稳定。有就要让他脚步组合动作所有是完美的，又有时候又要是觉得完美–如下图。坦白地说，他油漆区的终结能力强就要出色但挡拆终结并要是觉得无解，而我对此这有其中一细节再获能够整体综合水平他挡拆顺下的综合水平。 Toppin挡拆后的突破顺下都较慢，就要还需加以巩固-就要再获能够加快出手速率，对此他将与更好地专业的运动员相竞争，这让他再获能够在协防者的能够下不久不久彻底不久彻底补防油漆区。 （注–根本就要对此，这个延迟的这种行为不就要故意的，不不有时候为在掩护后将POA（紧贴）击败者再多拖住几秒，使其让持球手得以摆脱。）如上所述，再获能够他精简步法（并改善了脚步）始终保持平衡，觉得他又有打好P&P的潜力-还需精简让他组合动作。
Finishing: Very high level finisher. Nice and soft touch with either hand, though right hand is definitely better – misses some easy finishes with from time to time with either hand, though he appears to miss a bit more with his left than right (though still absolutely a good finisher with his left hand). Good finisher in traffic – can finish with dunks in contested areas (35/39 dunks in the halfcourt so far), through contact (though would like to see him improve here), and just make difficult finishes. Crafty finisher with nice body control (and ability to go underneath the contest when necessary). Very bouncy off of two feet – bigtime PnR threat (more on that below). Quick leaper and can transition from catch to finish quickly (and quick second jump) and does a nice job keeping the ball high when he has to – if there is room to bring it down, he will do so to help power through for a strong dunk, but when he is crowded he does a nice job keeping the ball high and away from defenders. Forces some looks at the rim on drives (and in general) and is prone to get bodied off his spot and pushed into a difficult finish. Body control and hand-eye coordination help him to make some tougher finishes off bounce passes (or difficult passes in general) and while contorting body. Will try to dunk whenever he has a chance (even if contested at the rim). Smart cutter off ball – loves cutting from baseline / dunker’s spot for a dunk. Timing on cuts is great too – when he sees someone driving, Toppin starts diving and lets the ballhandler know he’s ready for the pass (usually lob, pointing or looking up). Does a nice job cutting from perimeter too.
Synergy Profile (I know there is a lot of noise here, but this is just added information): 30th Percentile
Shot IQ: Good shot IQ and plays to his strengths. He knows he’s not a jump shooter, so only ~27% of his shots in the halfcourt are jumpers (only 6 of the 69 attempts in the halfcourt are shots off the bounce, not created by beating a closeout or off PnP). 42% of his attempts are around the basket, where his quick leaping ability, vertical pop, and soft touch give him a nice edge against opponents he takes advantage of. ~30% of his offense comes out of post ups, where although he has a basic game and isn’t too skilled in terms of moves, he is efficient there…which is really all that matters – does a nice job using his size to get shots off, soft touch to finish, and does a nice job sealing the defender where he wants him. Smart cutter off ball and lives in the dunker’s spot. All in all, he knows his strengths and does a nice job playing to them. However, if I had one area where I’d like to see him make a small change to his shot selection, it’d be in the PnR – he’s so explosive as a roller (and provides so much gravity), I’m not a fan of him taking 29 PnP attempts out of 57 screen attempts – would like to see that number more heavily weighted in favor of rolls, especially considering the PnP is still a work in progress.
Shot Versatility: I actually think the shot can be pretty versatile for a big, if he is able to clean up the form a bit. Though a small sample size, Toppin has shown he can hit non-dribble C&S jumpers, so there is some baseline to buy stock from. When you add in his soft touch and FT%, there is reason to think the shot will translate (and potentially improve). PnP would be a step up from him, and admittedly there is room for improvement – only 8/29 on PnP shots (5/21 on PnP from 3). His footwork needs work, as it is not consistent which leads to poor energy transference and poor loading / activation in the hamstrings or glutes, leading to bad balance and (often) a miss. He shows flashes of doing a nice job stepping into the shot (although sometimes there is an extra step), but his balance must improve. He does tend to move well from the catch into his shot, which is good to see, can get repositioned for the catch pretty well, and does a nice job keeping his body (usually right foot) in line with the basket. However, the balance / poor footwork is the limiter here and is an area where he has to improve if he wants to unlock his PnP. Picture row 1 shows an unbalanced shot / footwork and picture row 2 shows a more balanced one with his weight in the front 2/3-3/4 of his feet. Both photos show a nice job getting his right foot lined up with the basket. In terms of an off the bounce game, though I do not think he will be breaking down defenders off the bounce, I do think there is room for him to develop a little pull up game off of closeout (if defenders close on the 3). He shows comfortability attacking the rim off closeouts already (though he is prone to forcing some looks), so the baseline skills are there – add more reps and fine-tune the footwork and form, and this could be something he can go to off the catch.
Footwork: Needs work here. On top of having slow feet and slow hip turns (though there are were a few flashes), he is prone to crossing his feet and taking bad angles. As mentioned before, his balance / coordination needs work – I believe this is why he looks awkward (gangly) at times defending on the perimeter, in addition to his high center of gravity, he is often upright in his “stance” (if you can call it that) with a curved top of the back, making it difficult to keep balanced and move laterally, stop and go, change direction, etc. Prone to crossing his feet over one another as he’s going downhill or laterally.
Man (ISO) Defense: Does not have a good defensive stance – upper back rounded, hands down, feet too close together, too far upright, etc. Tends to take long (wobbly) steps on the perimeter, which goes back to his need to improve balance and his awkward coordination with his lower body movements. There are flashes of quick hip turns / feet even with the bad stance he currently has, but they are few and far between – there might be another level of quickness to unlock here with hip mobility work (and improving his overall stance), working on his stance, and improving balance / coordination. Slow hip turns (not fluid) and has heavy feet that he is prone to crossing instead of sliding. Really just looks not ready to move at all – not in an active position. Does not really bite on dribble moves / hesitations. Does a pretty nice job keeping his hands high in isolation, though can bring them down on occasion (which obviously then makes it difficult to bring them up to contest). Does not look like he’s balanced on his feet in isolation – feet are a bit antsy and it looks like he’s too far on the front of his feet. Shows flashes of getting downhill pretty quickly, but still crossing his feet. Prone to gambling and poor positioning on the initial catch, opening up driving lanes to the basket and/or drive and kick lanes. Does not change from sliding into rim protection / contesting paint shots on drives well. He moves a little faster downhill when his hips are already angling the ballhandler in that direction, but the footwork issues (crossing) shows up here too.
Defensive Role: PF defender, but probably a below average defender overall. His stiff hips / slow feet limit his perimeter defense and interior awareness is not good, so projection as a good rim protector is unlikely.
Shot Contests / Closeouts: Not a fan of his closeouts at all. His effort here is bad, where he won’t even bother getting out to some shooters…or, if he does, he’ll just jog slowly out there. His hands are often down, comes in too hot giving up a lane too attack, out of a stance (upright, feet close and unbalanced, etc) and does not get out to shooters quickly (if/when he actually makes an effort). Gambles on closeouts, giving up angles to drive and is prone to going for pump fakes. Relaxes and stands up too tall on his closeouts, often out of his stance entirely and not ready to move…which gives up an easy catch and drive for the offensive player.
Mentality Overview: Not a high energy player / someone who will make multiple effort plays during the same possession, or go out of way to grab a contested rebound. Tries dunking whenever possible in the paint. Aggressive looking for own shot, but does a nice job playing to his strengths.
Rim Protection: Not a good rim protector, but shows flashes of both awareness and quickness getting off the ground (which when coupled with his elite pop, can make him an effective rim protector when he’s zoned in). However, at a whole, his awareness needs work, has to help better and rotate better to the ball. Not someone who will make a second or third effort to protect the rim or slide in front of a driver / fully commit to helping – he’d rather swipe or half-move to the driver and stay out of it. Late to rotate on drives, which is compounded by his hands usually being down – also overly reliant on his athleticism…instead of rotating ono time (preferably early, or just being aware of the drive and ready to move), he waits and tries to simply jump and block the shot – acting as a deterrent simply by being in the correct position (rotating early, or even on time) is not something he’s good at. Can be dislodged on drives / in the paint. Has a lot of vertical pop off two feet from a stand-still so there is potential, but he has to improve his awareness in order to fully unlock his rim protection – the interesting thing with his vertical ability, is he’s quick to pop on weakside rotations, but when he’s the one on ball, he tends to be late contesting.
Passing: Really nice passer for a big – shows real ability here passing all over the court. Can kick it up in transition, pass off of his handle, pass out of the post (loves kicking it to the opposite corner, which he can hit with one-handed / live-action passes with either hand), and has some beautiful short roll passes. Quick decision-maker out of the post and does a nice job reading the double team and getting the ball to the open man, whether that’s a cutter or out to the perimeter. Soft touch on his passes, throwing a very catchable ball. Also a nice high-low passer, making quick reads / quick lobs over the top after cutting to the top of the key. Nice swing passer, can drive and kick, and drive and drop-off. Really well balanced and versatile passer for a big – way more than a stationary passer.
Athleticism / Frame Overview: Nice pop off two and off one, which leads to his elite PnR ability. Tight hips (does not change direction well) and “heavy feet,” can get out in transition in a straight line (but not good getting out to contest shooters), does not look particularly flexible given his inability to get in a defensive stance. Has a good frame that can likely add solid weight without reducing his vertical pop, but it might slow him down further laterally.